'Nobody is going to go out there'
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Plowright, Walter. 1999. 'Nobody is going to go out there'. Spore 84. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46570
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore84.pdf
Walter Plowright was ultimately rewarded with the 1999 World Food Prize for the vaccine he developed that has almost made possible the elimination the cattle disease, rinderpest. At the award ceremony in London, England, in October 1999
but Walter Plowright did, and he was ultimately rewarded with the 1999 World Food Prize for the vaccine he developed that has almost made possible the elimination of the centuries-old problem of the cattle disease, rinderpest. At the award ceremony in London, England, in October 1999, the organisers paid tribute to Plowright s 'more than 20 years of research and development (in Kenya) to develop a safe and effective rinderpest vaccine.' Plowright s achievement shows the impact a dedicated researcher can have. A former colleague, Frank Dobson, told the tale vividly to the King of Belgium some years ago: 'Rinderpest wasn t introduced into Africa until 1890. It swept from the Horn of Africa to the Cape in twelve years and killed 80% to 90% of the game. The plains were littered with carcasses. The vultures couldn t fly, they were so full The British government argued for clearing the Serengeti plain of wildebeest because they were perceived to be a reservoir for rinderpest. So Walter develops a vaccine. Surely nobody is going to go out there and wrestle with wild buffaloes, jab a quarter of a million wildebeest? So each year, they would go out, they still do, and vaccinate all the cattle in the area by just vaccinating cattle, rinderpest disappears from all the other species in the ecosystem.' A few pockets of rinderpest remain in the world, because of problems of access arising from political circumstances. As these are overcome rinderpest, like smallpox, may be eliminated. One of science s finest achievements, a great credit to Dr. Plowright and, hopefully, an inspiration to today s young scientists. More details: World Food Prize Foundation, 610 Locust Street, Suite 1000, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, USA Fax: + 1 515 245 3783 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.wfpf.org